NASA Astronaut Anne McClain, crewmates return from space station mission

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The Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft is seen as it lands in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan with Expedition 59 crew members Anne McClain of NASA, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, and Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos, June 25, 2019 Kazakh time (June 24 Eastern time). McClain, Saint-Jacques, and Kononenko are returning after 204 days in space where they served as members of the Expedition 58 and 59 crews onboard the International Space Station. (NASA photograph by Bill Ingalls)

NASA astronaut Anne McClain and two of her Expedition 59 crewmates returned to Earth from the International Space Station June 24, landing safely in Kazakhstan at 10:47 p.m., after months of science and four spacewalks aboard the microgravity laboratory.

McClain, Expedition 59/Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency launched Dec. 3, 2018. They arrived at the space station just six hours later to begin their 204-day mission, during which they orbited Earth 3,264 times traveling 86,430,555 miles.

After post-landing medical checks, McClain and Saint-Jacques will return to Houston and Kononenko to Star City, Russia.

The Expedition 59 crew contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science, including investigations into small devices that replicate the structure and function of human organs, editing DNA in space for the first time and recycling 3D-printed material.

Expedition 59 NASA astronaut Anne McClain is helped out of the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft just minutes after she, Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on June 25, 2019 Kazakh time. (NASA photograph by Bill Ingalls)

McClain, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and native of Spokane, Washington, conducted two spacewalks totaling 13 hours and 8 minutes on her mission into space.

Saint-Jacques, also on his first space mission and only the sixth Canadian astronaut to perform a spacewalk, joined McClain on her second outing, which totaled 6 hours and 29 minutes. Kononenko, on his fourth mission, conducted two spacewalks totaling 13 hours and 46 minutes, bringing his career total to 32 hours and 13 minutes spread over five spacewalks.

When their Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft undocked at 7:25 p.m., Expedition 60 began aboard the station officially, with Nick Hague and Christina Koch of NASA as flight engineers, and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos as the station’s commander.

The next residents to arrive at the space station – Andrew Morgan of NASA, Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos – will launch aboard Soyuz MS-13 on July 20, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and join Expedition 60 after a six-hour flight.
 

Expedition 59 NASA astronaut Anne McClain rests onboard a helicopter during a flight from the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft landing site to Karaganda, Kazakhstan as NASA Flight Surgeon Natacha Chough, left, and Russian Nurse Raksana Batsmanova, right, look after her, June 25, 2019. (NASA photograph by Bill Ingalls)

 
The Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft is seen as it lands in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan with Expedition 59 crew members Anne McClain of NASA, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, and Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos, June 25, 2019 Kazakh time (June 24 Eastern time). (NASA photograph by Bill Ingalls)